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Friday, February 8, 2013

Mayo Clinic - Day Five. Follow up Visit with the Doctor

I met with the doctor today at Mayo to go over all of my test results from this week of testing.

We started off talking about my lab work. My labs were normal, except for my enzymes. The number was 108 and normal is around 40. That kind of bothers me because my liver enzymes were also really high in the hospital, in the 440s to 500s. He is going to recheck my labs in three months to rule out chronic liver disease, which sounds a bit scary. My white blood cell count was up, at 12.8. I don't have any explanation for that except for the throat infection I vomited myself into last week.

My 48 hour BRAVO TEST was positive. The test came back showing three different occasions for heartburn. The regurgitation I had did not correspond with reflux events on the Bravo meter device.

I want to address the heartburn thing. I know what heartburn feels like and I swear that I did NOT feel the heartburn while doing the Bravo test. I have been vomiting up stomach acid, but I thought that was because there was nothing left on my stomach. Am I just so used to the acid reflux that I can't tell when it's occurring now?

My esophagus looked normal and there wasn't any damage. I'm not sure how that happened because it was so swollen and sore last week. I still have issues swallowing and I have the bravo capsule attached to my esophagus until it falls off.

I have to manage this like GERD. I've tried Protonix, Pepcid, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Dexilant in the past to control acid reflux. So, the doctor called in some ACIPHEX to help control my symptoms. He told me to try this for three months. He also told me to learn DIAPHRAGMATIC DEEP BREATHING. Dr. Bouras said that will help me to help control the vomiting. I have to come back to the Mayo Clinic to meet with behavioral specialists to learn how to this technique but it will have to be approved by my insurance before I can schedule the appointment. But, the deep breathing will help me hold the food down.

If the medication does NOT work, then he will have to do surgery. He recommended a NISSEN FUNDOPLICATION.

The doctor also cleared me to start back on BENTYL. This is great news because my stomach spasms hurt SO much! This will help them subside. He did caution me to be careful about these types of medication because they can make gastric emptying even slower.

If I'm still having issues three months from now on the new PPI and with the deep breathing, he also mentioned doing a Sleuth Study which is a reflux study that isn't just about acid, but any kind of reflux. I'm sorry that I don't have a link for you but I can't find anything on the Internet about it. He also mentioned the Nissen, as I mentioned before. That would make it impossible for me to vomit and could create issues for me swallowing.

I also have severe constipation. Nothing goes down and everything comes back up so he suggested Milk of Magnesium at night. I've been doing that but I guess I'll up the dosage. He said that in some cases, severe constipation can lead to upper GI motility issues. I'm to take 2 - 4 tablespoons of Magnesium at bedtime and avoid any medications that could cause constipation.

He may eventually do rectal testing on me. Man, that sounds like fun! Kidding. Anyway, he said that even though your colon could be normal (mine was via a colonoscopy) that you can still have rectal issues. There are tests to see if the muscles are functioning properly and he would also check for any possible blockages. He also mentioned doing another test called the PELVIC FLOOR TEST. I had never heard of such a thing. It's a group of muscles that control your bladder and bowel movements and this test makes sure that group of muscles work properly.

I asked him if there was anything else I could take for the nausea because the Zofran is hit or miss and Phenergan, well, doesn't last that long. I think I'm building up a tolerance. he said that I could take SCOPOLAMINE patches, which you put behind your ear and wear for three days but they have the potential to make you sleepy. So, I'll ask my doctor about those when I get home. I am going to straight up ask for pain patches too until the spasms are under control.

So, I still have motility issues. I'm meeting with a new PCP this week as well so that I can actually get more refills on Phenergan (more than 2 refills at a time), ask about the patch, and talk to him about everything that's been going on. I know he can't help with GP or motility issues, but he can help me with the stress and coping with such things. I had been seeing another doctor as my PCP but he's been at the practice less and less, having his PA's cover it instead and some of them really aren't that bright. If I am paying for a visit and I haven't slept in three days because of vomiting - don't turn me away with a prescription for 12 phenergan tablets and a pat on the head. That was the last straw for me, I think. I'm in the process of getting ALL of my medical records together for the new doctor. He might be a bit overwhelmed. My file looks like 100 Stephen King novels packed into one.

TRDL; my liver enzymes are high and need to be tested in three months to rule out chronic liver disease. Severe acid reflux is causing me to keep vomiting everything up. The doctor gave me medicine and if it doesn't work, along with deep breathing, I will need to have a stomach operation wherein, basically, they wrap my stomach around itself as well as other testing.

2 comments:

Ken Klaus said...

I'm actually kind of shocked that the doctor went straight for the Nissen fundoplication. My thoracic surgeon said that most surgeons prefer a dor fundoplication, especially if there are motility problems of the esophagus or stomach.

Emily Scherer said...

I don't know why either unless he feels like this will drastically help my way of life. As of right now, I keep vomiting. I can't do much and I can't even leave my house. I need to go back to class and I want my social life back. I'm going to do research before I agree to anything but I'm so desperate for a solution. =(